You are here

TTC & being a stepparent

christinen's picture

For those of you who are trying to conceive or have went through ttc before, how did you handle it?

My DH and I have been ttc for almost a year now & I'm just getting really frustrated. I think it would be frustrating for anyone, but seeing SD everyday really just makes me feel worse. Just something about knowing DH has gotten someone else pregnant but now we are having trouble makes me feel really bad.

I've had a bunch of tests done & long story short, no one really knows what the issue is. Apparently I have a tilted uterus but my cycle never became normal after I got off the pill (almost a year ago), so we really don't even know if the tilted uterus has anything to do with it or not.

I've been to 3 doctors & none of them will prescribe me Clomid. Some months my cycles are 30 some days, this past cycle was over 60 days, it's just a huge mess. I don't even know if I'm ovulating.

All my blood work has come back normal & ultrasounds were normal (other than the tilted uterus, which we don't really know if that's an issue or not- doctor said that would increase the chance of miscarriage, but wouldn't really affect getting pregnant in the first place).

Anyone have any similar experiences they'd care to share? I feel really alone because I don't have any friends who have ever had problems ttc.

Snowflake's picture

Try using these "Clearblue Fertility Monitor Test Sticks" about a week after your next cycle. It will pinpoint when you are at your most fertile, and then you could try.

I would also look into getting an iui done.

christinen's picture

Thanks, snowflake! I tried using ovulation tests in the beginning but it got expensive quickly so I stopped. I think I will give it another try though. My period just ended yesterday so it's a good time to start again.

I have not looked into IUI yet, but I am not opposed to anything at this point.

Thanks again!

SMof2Girls's picture

DH and I are about to embark on this journey. I don't really know what to expect. I want to hopeful and optimistic, but there's a part of me that fears never being able to conceive.

The constant presence of my 2 skids will undoubtedly make that a more difficult truth to swallow if it goes that way.

My oldest sister had trouble conceiving for YEARS. Her and her husband traveled the world seeking medical advice and procedures that weren't available in the states. After 14 years of that, she finally got pregnant. I don't have that kind of time or money ..

Best of luck to you .. I don't have much advice to offer, but I hope it all works out Smile

christinen's picture

Thank you!!

I hope everything works out for you and your DH too. We are in the same boat, we don't have a lot of time and money to spare.

Actually, I had an appointment at the fertility doctor today & when I told him all the tests he recommended sounded expensive, he made a comment about whether or not DH and I should be trying for a baby (I guess I made it sound like we had financial trouble, which we really don't but at the same time don't want to pay for a bunch of unnecessary tests) so I was fuming!! Needless to say, I won't be going back to that doctor.

MEL1297's picture

Yes - this was me too. And yes, being a thankless stepmother (not even a card from my DH on Mother's Day) made it SO much worse.

We tried to conceive on our own for a year (I know, not as long as many couples). I thought we were both healthy and would happen in no time. All my friends seemed to be getting pregnant right away. After a year, we saw a reproductive endocrinologist. Husband was normal count...Problem was me. In my first round of tests, found out I had a blocked fallopian tube on the side of my dominant ovary..awesome. This significantly cut my chances and was the reason I wasn't getting preg. Started on clomid that cycle to hyper stimulate follicles and had one really good one on the good side. Had to give myself a shot of HCG to allow me to ovulate and I got pregnant that cycle. Unbelievable. I'm due in 7 weeks Smile

My mistake was trying and trying on our own thinking this cycle would be the one I got pregnant. I wasted a year of trying. I should have went to an RE right away, to at least perform testing. But I see you have testing done already.

About Clomid, are you seeing a fertility specialist/reproductive endocrinologist? The first time I went, they were practically pushing clomid on me, so I'm really surprised your dr. wont write a script? If you haven't been to one yet and are just seeing your gyn, go see one or ask your doctor for recommendation. If you are currently seeing an RE, FIND A NEW ONE! They should be on top of your cycles like clockwork - they were for me.

Did you have an HSG test yet? That's where my problem was found.

As far as ovulation, I would look into these: I used them throughout my TTC journey and recommend to know that you are indeed ovulating. They're pretty cheap too.

I wish you the best and hope that it happens for you soon. If you have any questions or need additional advice, please let me know!

christinen's picture

Congrats!!!! That's awesome!

I have seen 2 gyns and 1 fertility specialist. The appointment I had today was my second one with the FS and he is still refusing to prescribe me clomid. He claims it would be irresponsible to give me clomid without making sure everything else is fine first (I guess thinking what if I got pregnant on clomid & then had another issue & miscarried or something). I'm just at the end of my rope with this doctor.

I have already been tested for so many things and they have not found anything wrong. I don't see the need for all this.

Since he wouldn't give me clomid, I immediately called my gyn and asked AGAIN if she will give me clomid.

I wish I could find someone who would just give it to me.

About the HSG - I believe that was part of the blood work they sent me for and they told me everything was normal.

SM with BM from hell's picture

The hsg test is where they look at your uterus and tubes. They insert dye to make sure the tubes are functioning and there's no spillage or blockage. They use an X-ray machine to see inside. If the dr recommended this test I would def do it. Check with your health insurance they may cover it. The test is kind of like a pelvic exam and it's done out patient.

christinen's picture

Ooooh I see. Ok. To be honest, I am not even sure if I had that done or not! I will have to check my records. I can't even remember all the things they've had me do.

SM with BM from hell's picture

This test is really effective. It helped me learn my tubes were blocked when DH and I were ttc. I hope everything works out for you guys. It's hard ttc when you have the added stress of step life.

MEL1297's picture

Thank you;) Maybe they aren't giving you clomid bc you have irregular cycles?? What is their plan of action for you? I don't think you had an HSG, you would remember that Smile like the others said, they inject dye in your uterus and look at it on an X-ray while you're propped up on the table. You can see the dye go thru your Fallopian tubes while you lay there. Very effective test like the others said. You would remember it as it's not super pleasant. But you need to do it a certain day of your cycle like day 12 I think. After bleeding but before ovulation. Maybe it has to do w your irregular cycle? Either way, your doc needs to be more clear on a plan of action for you. I would demand it. He needs to help regulate your cycle if that's the reason you aren't getting clomid.

christinen's picture

They don't really seem like they have a plan of action. I think I am going to see another doctor (I am on dr #3 now).

He told me today he doesn't want to do clomid until ALL other testing is complete. Basically it would be a last resort. He said it would be "irresponsible" to give clomid & then me get pregnant if there was another issue that would cause me to miscarry. So far, all my tests have shown no issues so I don't know why he seems like he is expecting something to come up. It's strange to me. I feel like maybe he just wants to keep me coming back for expensive tests for the insurance money.

MEL1297's picture

Oh no, I would definitely get a second opinion if that's the case. How much testing does he need you to do??? That's crazy. All you need is bloodwork for hormone levels during your period and the HSG. That's all I had done and they pushed clomid on me my first appt! Even BEFORE I had the testing...So sorry they are being like that. Definitely find another RE.

christinen's picture

Yeah I am going to start looking ASAP.

I had bloodwork on the first day of my period back in October.

I had several ultrasounds but he wants another one.

The HSG test, I am not sure if that was on his list or not, but since you guys think that is helpful, I am ok with doing that.

It seems like he just wants to keep repeating unnecessary procedures.

He also wants to get my DH tested for everything, which I would be fine with if we didn't know the issue but it's pretty clear to me that the issue is my cycle being so crazy so I am not sure what that would accomplish. Sure, we can get him checked but I don't see why I need to wait on the clomid for that.

libra2libra83's picture

I have PCOS. TTC for the last 2 years. Yes looking at my SD angers me so much, especially when I see the narcissistic BM able to have children left and right without any problems. I swear if I have to hear that "I am not a mother" and that I do not understand what being a mother is like com out of her mouth one more time...

This whole process has been one of the hardest things I have ever had to deal with. I have and still cry myself to sleep from disappointment.

christinen's picture

How did you get the PCOS diagnosis, if you don't mind me asking?

My dr mentioned today that PCOS was a possibility, but I was a little confused because I've already had ultrasounds/ovaries checked and they told me everything looked fine.

libra2libra83's picture

I had an ultrasound, blood tests (mainly checking insulin levels and testosterone), and symptoms. My period was always late, and when I did get it, it would be over in a day, or would last for a month. When I gain weight, I gain it primarily in my stomach. I also have an increase in hair growth on my face and stomach. I was diagnosed at 16. Even if I get pregnant, I am 3 times more likely to miscarry then a normal pregnancy.

christinen's picture

Thank you for the info. My cycle has been all over the place since I got off the pill almost a year ago (I was on depo shot for about 4 years or so and then the pill for about 8 years or so).

Here is the length of my cycles for as far back as I have been keeping track: 40 days, 41 days, 45 days, 37 days, 34 days, 63 days. The periods have been lasting 3-4 days each time.

I wonder why he would say it could be PCOS when I have already had ultrasounds of my ovaries and bloodwork that came back normal. I'm so confused.

I hope things work out for you!

libra2libra83's picture

Do you have any of the other symptoms? When I was diagnosed, I had a clean ultrasound and the only thing weird was the testosterone blood was slightly high.

christinen's picture

The doctor didn't really fully explain the other symptoms to me. He asked me if I had excess hair growth & when I said no, he moved on.

After looking more into it online, I do have some other symptoms. I have very oily skin and still get acne at 28 years old. Even with oily skin, I have a flaky scalp (it has been pretty easy to treat with tea tree oil shampoo so it's not a huge deal and I had no idea that was even a symptom of anything like PCOS). I wonder if I am just being paranoid now or if this could really be the problem!

libra2libra83's picture

I would assume that you do not have it. The hair growth is the main sign. When I gain weight, the hair growth is unbearable.

christinen's picture

Ok, that must be why he asked about hair growth first. I'm Italian so I definitely have dark, quick-growing hair, but not in any abnormal areas or anything like that and nothing on my face. Thanks for all the info.

libra2libra83's picture

PCOS does not have a reliable test because you may have it without the cyst on the ovaries, which is what the ultrasound looks for. It is mainly insulin resistance that causes the problems.

not2sureimsaneanymore's picture

Maybe also try acupuncture to balance your body out after the BC. In my school, there's an entire class dedicated to treating infertility with acupuncture and one of the biggest things that the practitioners see is infertility after years of birth control. Several students in our class actually bursted into tears in the middle of the lecture because many of them were going through that and didn't know BC could mess up fertility so bad.

Anyway, acupuncture is often now prescribed along with western fertility treatments to boost the chances. I've actually known several women who became pregnant after starting acupuncture alone. One woman had over 10 miscarriages and a stillborn, and after she started acupuncture once she got pregnant, was able to carry her daughter to full term. Who knows, can't hurt.

christinen's picture

Wow, I will definitely look into it! It can't hurt!

As far as the BC issue yeah, if I had known what it would do to me, I would have never stayed on it for so long. I definitely won't ever go back on it.

christinen's picture

Wow, I really hope everything works out! It has to so hard being scared for your baby like that.

I feel resentful too.. BM and DH weren't married or anything and BM was supposed to be on the pill but got pregnant with SD on purpose to try to trap DH.. DH wanted her to get an abortion but she refused.. Having a baby wasn't enough to keep DH around (surprise surprise), so then she didn't want SD anymore so we have her full time. She also has 2 other kids by 2 different men & wasn't married to them either. She's something else. I will never understand why do people like that have no trouble getting pregnant!!

christinen's picture

Oh definitely. I can't help thinking sometimes that I should have been with someone who didn't already have a kid & who could devote 100% of their time to me and the kids we have together. I can't stand the "daddy daddy" crap when I am needing DH for something either.

z3girl's picture

I battled infertility for 4 years before having my 2 boys. The longer it took, the less tolerance I had for SD. DH refused to finance IVF, and between the two of us, I was told I had a less than 3% chance of conceiving. I have irregular cycles and the dr said a "touch of PCOS". DH has a very low sperm count. We went to the Czech Republic to have IVF at a fraction of what it cost here. Feel free to PM me if you'd like info on that. The most expensive procedure here (ICSI) costs $20,000 while I had it done there for $5000.

I'm surprised your doctor hasn't ordered all the typical tests. I had an endometrial biopsy and an HSG before the doctor would consider Clomid. He didn't want to give me Clomid at all because of DH's low sperm count, but he gave me some after a particularly bad experience I had with one of the specialists. I ended up conceiving naturally between rounds of IVF, and then became pregnant the second time immediately after having my first. We want a third, and it's beginning to look like I may need to try IVF again for that to happen.

christinen's picture

Thank you. I'll have to check when I get home and see if the HSG test is on the list he gave me today of tests he wanted me to have done. If it is, I will do it because I am getting feedback on here that it is helpful. Idk why he wants me to keep getting ultrasounds. I really want to try the clomid & idk why I am having such a hard time finding someone to prescribe it to me.

christinen's picture

Thanks so much for the response! & best of luck with the clomid!

After I left the RE on Friday, I was really upset & felt like I was not getting anywhere with this doctor so I called my original gyn & left a message asking if she would let me try clomid now (last time I asked about it, she said she wanted me to wait a little longer to see if my cycle would become normal on it's own). So I am waiting for her to call me back.

I am hoping she will say yes, but if she says no then I guess I will have no choice but to go through more testing. I've already had bloodwork and a transvaginal ultrasound (I had a uterine cyst last summer but it was removed and I was told everything was fine afterwards).

After reading about so many people being given clomid, I am really confused as to why 3 doctors would not give it to me as well. The 2 gyns said they wanted me to wait a little longer (I started asking about it after only a few months of trying but now it's been a year) and the RE claims it would be irresponsible to jump straight to clomid without testing everything first to make sure there's not another issue.. which I get, but it's getting very time-consuming, frustrating, and expensive.

christinen's picture

Well guys, my gyn called me back this morning & said the clomid is a no-go. She wants me to come in for yet ANOTHER office visit. So I called the RE back and left a message about scheduling the tests they want done. I really don't think a lot of them are necessary (since I just had them done less than a year ago) but since no one will help me in any other way, I guess I have no choice.

To top it off, my coworker just announced she is pregnant & she has only been off the pill for a month. I put on a happy face but I wanted to SCREAM!'s picture

We are ttc as well. Fdh got a reversal done in December. He did is testing and it was successful, there are live swimmers. Because I have a bio they assume everything is ok with me. I know it hasn't been long and it takes time but every month I still end up disappointed wondering if it ever is going to happen.
Sd 16 is currently giving us the silent treatment bc daddy loves goincrazy more then her :sick:
She has let everyone know that she will always be the baby no matter what and hopes I don't get pregnant. It hurts but it's expected. Just makes me resentful even more towards her. I try to not think about it or compare but it gives me knots in my stomach when I think about how fdh didn't even think sd16 was they didn't want any more kids in their toxic relationship and it was an oops on both their parts. So he got a vasectomy.

Here we are wanting one together, and hoping for the best but trying to accept it may not. There's about a 50% chance we were told.

Good luck, maybe try another fertility specialist? Un the mean time schedule all of your testing.

christinen's picture

Ugh, that must be so infuriating to hear that from your SD! I would have to fight the urge to smack SD if she said she hopes I don't pregnant! I hope everything works out for you.

Steph0820's picture

I have a tilted uterus & was on the shot for years when DH & I wanted to start trying I got off the shot for a year. My cycle was never normal either. I was 34 & my bio clock was ticking! The Dr. put me on some meds that made me start my period again. I also had a trans vaginal ultrasound to see if there was still life in my overies. It came back fine but still no pregnancy. Finally it happend but my HCG levels were not rising so I had a miscarriage. That did not discourage me! We just kept trying & I was pregnant 3 months later with a big healthy girl who I delivered a week after my due date. See if they will check your overies. Then just be patient & have fun trying!!

christinen's picture

Aww thanks Steph for sharing your story & congrats! I had a cyst a year ago & while they were doing tests they did check my ovaries & said everything looked fine (it ended up being a uterine cyst but they tested everything in the beginning, before they found out what was causing my pain). My gyn did say I have a slight uterine septum but said that normally does not cause any problems conceiving. I guess I could always have that checked again if I don't get pregnant soon.

AllySkoo's picture

I'm not sure why they won't prescribe Clomid for you either - but I definitely agree that you need to talk to the RE and ask SPECIFICALLY why he's resistant to the idea. For what it's worth, I had secondary infertility and went to an RE, and got all those tests done (bloodwork, ultrasounds, the dye test for your fallopian tubes, some sort of "egg count" check for "reserves" - god knows what all else) - and I was never just on Clomid - we went straight to IUI, did 3 rounds of that and then did IVF twice before I got pregnant finally. (Well, pregnant and kept it anyway.)

Remember that Clomid is a DRUG - it's not just to "regulate your period" or help you get preggers, it actually has some pretty nasty implications if not used and monitored properly. Check out this link for info on Clomid and its risks and side effects:

I'm not saying it can't be a useful tool in trying to get pregnant, but you do have to use the RIGHT tool or it can be dangerous. That's why it's prescription after all - because you need a doc to make sure it's the right tool. Sounds like in your case it *might* not be. Do the tests, go to another RE if this one isn't talking to you, but do the tests.

Oh, and you said you tried ovulation kits, but are you tracking your basal body temp? Seriously, look into that! That will help you determine if you're ovulating or not too. There are a bunch of web sites (and apps now) designed to help you track and chart your temps and other fertility signs, and many of them have forums for questions and support too. I LOVED the one I was on, I'm still in touch with a lot of those women now, almost 6 years later. Smile

christinen's picture

Ally, I have not tried the bbt charting yet but that is something I will look into! Thanks!

I just wish my cycle would become normal.. I have a feeling that's what our problem is.. Of course I don't know what is causing it to be irregular.. Doctor said he doesn't think it's the birth control because it's been a year since I got off & he says it is not in my system anymore.

thebrokenrecordmachine's picture

Hi Christine,

Firstly sorry for your bout of "unexplained infertility", if you look at the stats it seems like it is becoming more of a problem...I truly believe that BC can negatively affect our hormonal balance, (I have a 5 yr old DD, I had the mirena taken out last January 2013, after 4 years and have not used any form of contraception and am still not pregnant...haven't ovulated).

I also was diagnosed with PCOS at 17, im 28 now but am considered a thin cyster, I just deal with acne. Pre- the birth of my daughter, I was sick of taking provera at the beginning of every month to bring on a period, so I was looking into herbal remedies and came across chaste tree berry(I must warn you that it worked for me helped me ovulate, but it also screwed up my cycles where I was having a period every 2 weeks)...what the chaste tree does is help regulate your hormones, build progesterone in your body(you may be suffering from a progesterone deficiency and in effect have a higher estrogen in your body than normal, MDs don't recognize estrogen dominance, but I have done my research into this and believe I am suffering from it, I have chronic breast pain). Without progesterone, you wont ovulate.

You mentioned you had the DEPO shot, from my understanding, that is a similar drug to mirena, where it takes away your bodies ability to produce progesterone naturally. I have researched depo/mirena and have found that it has taken year(s) to become fertile again after the shot, so perhaps it is more of a waiting game for you, than anything else..the good news is that you can get pregnant, you just may be waiting longer than most.

As others have suggested definitely follow up with the HSG test, progesterone test(blood), have your LH/FSH levels checked, your TSH/Prolactin levels checked, aldosterone levels(it is common for testosterone to be elevated in females with pcos..mine typically is).
Best of luck...I totally get how you feel, when everyone else has a baby but you!

I am sure in time, you'll get to be a mom, keep us posted with your progress!

christinen's picture

Thank you so much for all the info. I really appreciate it. I will look into the things you mentioned to see if they may work for me! I have had blood work and ultrasound so far, so I believe the next step will be the HSG test.

Lottieloo's picture

Hey all

This is my first post. I'm in a slightly dif situation, I am married to a woman and through sperm donation we are trying to have a baby. I am finding this process very stressful, my partner is supporting me with this but it isn't a priority for her because she already has two children. I find being a step parent very challenging as I feel I am expected to love them children in the way my wife does however I don't and now because I want my own child this is often used in an argument. The whole process of trying to get pregnant is very hard because we can't do it au naturale! I hope that by getting pregnant with my own child it might help me understand how my wife feels about her children. I often feel very left out and on the outside of the family unit. One child in particular is challenging n very clingy to her mother. To an extreme degree, hoping someone is gonna tell me there is light at the end of the tunnel in terms of how I feel about step children and having a child of my own. I have had lots of tests done and had the all clear.

stressedstep's picture

I had/have PCO too....failed fertility treatment (miscarried)...two years later conceived naturally! She is 6 now....

OH and myself are trying for an "ours"...not sure if the problem will repeat itself.....I was told originally that because I didnt have PCOS, I just had the cysts, that after a baby it normally resets itself.....Ive had hormone blood tests every year ever since, and they have all been normal.

Its hard going through this, just try to relax, and dont let it take over you. Its hard I know, I tried for 6 years for my only child.....the only thing I thank my Ex for!